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Tight-shirted Murray has designs on Australian Open title

Andy Murray of Britain serves to Joao Sousa of Portugal during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbour
Andy Murray of Britain serves to Joao Sousa of Portugal during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbour

By Simon Cambers

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray may have designs on the Australian Open title but that is about as far as it goes when it comes to the world of fashion.

The Scot has been sporting a tighter-than-usual shirt so far in Melbourne and it continues to serve him well, his 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory over Joao Sousa of Portugal sending him through to round three on Thursday.

In sweltering temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius, U.S. Open champion Murray's shirt was sticking to him and he needed a couple of costume changes to stay cool.

"The only thing I don't like on shirts is if they come down too low and sometimes your elbows can get caught in the shirt," third seed Murray told reporters.

"The less material there is on the shirt I think probably the better. There's less to get in the way. But so long as they're tailored somewhat, I think there's no real problem."

The days when the likes of John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl wore the shortest of shorts may be in the past but a couple of current players, Tomas Berdych and Tommy Robredo, have been modelling some retro shorts.

Murray said fans at Melbourne Park should not expect him wearing anything too short.

"I actually wore a pair at Wimbledon when I was (sponsored by) Fred Perry that were short," he said. "Not quite like what Ivan and those guys used to wear on the court. I can't see a return to them, to be honest.

"They were a bit too short. They didn't leave too much to the imagination."

Murray was far too strong for Sousa and now plays Ricardo Berankis of Lithuania, a player now ranked 110 but once considered one of the most promising juniors on Tour before a number of injuries hampered his progress.

Murray said he had been practising with Berankis in the warm-up event in Brisbane and in Melbourne and said he would need to play well to beat him.

"He works hard and he's a really nice, really nice guy," Murray said. "It's nice to see him do well because we spent quite a bit of time practising together.

"He is not that tall and he hits the ball pretty big from the back of the court. He plays aggressive. He's a very flat hitter of the ball. He's obviously playing well."

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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